Holiday Coast

Hluhluwe River Lodge

CLOSEST TOWN > Hluhluwe

TRAIL DESTINATION > False Bay Park

DISTANCE > Self determined

 

GRADING> Easy to difficult

OVERVIEW

The intimate Hluhluwe River Lodge lies on the western boundary of iSimangaliso, on a headland offering sweeping views over False Bay and the Hluhluwe River flood plain. Cranking through these grassy plains with only the lake as a backdrop makes for an unbeleavable 'Out of Africa' experience.

On your bike

The 20km ride to False Bay Park - a 2,300ha reserve hugging the western shoreline of Lake St Lulcia - is flat and easy enough to be perfect for novice riders or a family outing. You will pass through beautiful coastal forests on smooth tar and gravel roads and there are a number of lookout points with stunning vistas across Lake St Lucia and Hell's Gate. 

For advanced mountain bikers, two highly recommended trails of about 30-40km offer great forest singletrack and some technical riding. These trails are scenic, physicall challenging and very remote, so be fully self-sufficient.

Off the bike

There are several stunning hiking trails in False Bay Park, a wonderful 20km walking trail meanders through the Lodge's 80ha conservancy, with plenty of birdlife and the shy suni, while iSimangaliso and the Duazulu Cultural Village are a stone's throw away. 

CONTACT:

Telephone: +27 (0)35 562 0246

Website: www.hluhluwe.co.za

GPS: 28° 02.227’ South / 32° 21.046’East 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to difficult

DURATION:

Various

CONFIGURATION :

20-40km

START POINT:

Hluhluwe River Lodge

TERRAIN:

Forest singletrack, tar and dirt roads

MAP:

Available at reception

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

No day visitors

FACILITIES:

Accommodation options, pool

BEWARE OF:

Thorns and sand

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Turn from the N2 onto the R22 and drive through Hluhluwe. Follow this road for about 3km after the village and look for the D540 district road turnoff to your right. Follow the D540 for 5km to the Hluhluwe River Lodge entrance on your right.


BEST TIME OF YEAR

Summer is very warm and humid

 

Rocky Bay MTB Trails

CLOSEST TOWN > Park Rynie - Scottburgh

TRAIL DESTINATION > Loop - Rocky Bay Resort

DISTANCE > 11,19,29 and 36km

GRADING > Easy - Difficult

VIDEOS > Check out some video shots of the trail.....

 

Overview

Situated on the scenic South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal less than an hour away from Durban, Rocky Bay Resort is the perfect getaway. Surrounded by golden beaches, indigenous forests and rolling hills, this resort now also offers a network of mountain-bike trails meandering in and out of sugar-cane fields, indigenous bush and coastal forest, allowing you to explore this beautiful region on your iron steed.

On your bike

Starting at Rocky Bay Resort's main gate, the trails head off into Ellingham Estate, a private sugar-cane estate. For the first 3km all the trails use the same farm road, before the 11km trail splits away from the three other trails. All the trials make use of farm roads, jeep tracks and great compacted smooth singletrack. The elevation gain on the trials varies, from a total climb of 400m on the 19km trail to 620m on the 29km and 780m on the 36km trail. 

After the initial 3km on the farm road, the 11km trail follows a mix of singletrack, jeep tracks and farm roads, meandering in and out of coastal forest and sugar cane before heading back downhill to Rocky Bay and the beach. The 19km, 29km, and 36km trails follow singletrack and then run along the N2 highway across the river. They then drop down the 'snake' onto farm roads, before climbing to the 19km split from the 29km and 36km trails. The 19km that forms part of the world-famous Joburg2C and Sani2C trails now drops down the hill and runs along the river bank, crossing over the river and following it to the climb up to the '3 Bitches'. It eventually enters beautiful singletrack in the coastal forest; keep your eyes peeled for the small and rare red duikers. Once out of the forest singletrack, it is a downhill hom to the beach at Rocky Bay. 

The 29km and 36km trials climb along a jeep track up to 'The Devil' and then you hit the fast downhill singletrack all the way to the bottom of the valley and back onto a farm road. Here the trails follow and then cross the river, onto another jeep track and singletrack section, still following the river. At 14km the 29km and 36km trails split up. The 29km trail continues on farm road and singletrack along the river, before another climb lets you join up with the original 19km trail at the 18km mark.

Once the 36km trail splits from the 29km trail, it follows a farm road that climbs out of the valley for about 1.5km before heading onto several kiliometres of singletrack and jeep track bliss. You will eventually join up with the 29km trail at the 21km mark and then with the 19km trail at the 24km mark. The last 4km is a nice downhill, with an awesome view of the ocean, all the way down to Rocky Bay and the resort. Don't underestimate the 36km ride; it is 'bitter-sweet'.

Wild life

There is a very good possibility that you might bump into the following during your ride:- Bushbuck, Grey Duiker, Blue Duiker, Bush Pigs, Vervet monkeys, Grey mongoose, Banded mongoose, Crested cranes, Fish Eagles and many more varieties of bird species.

Off the bike

The resort has a host of activities available on site or nearby, like swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, shark-cage diving, deep-sea fishing, rock surf fishing, trail running, golf and birding.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Annien +27 (0)39 976 0336

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.rockybay.co.za

GPS: 30°20′08.2″ South 030°43′57.9″ East

 

 

11km Trail Profile

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

1km = Easy, 19km & 29km = Intermediate.  35km = Technical & Difficult

DURATION:

Depends on you're level of fitness: On average  11k = 1h20m / 29km = 2h30m / 36k = 3h 00m

CONFIGURATION :

4 x Safe loop trails with lots of single and jeep track, in sugar cane and indigenous bush

START POINT:

Rocky Bay Resort,next to the beach.

TERRAIN:

From hard gravel surface (farm roads) to compacted smooth single track.

MAP:

See below for the trail profiles.

CELL RECEPTION:

Good.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Entry fee payable

FACILITIES:

Rocky Bay Resort (Caravan Park and log cabin)

BEWARE OF:

There is no water available on the trails

Other vehicle on the farm roads, and of having too much FUN.

19km Trail Profile

 

29km Trail Profile

36 km Trail profile

HOW TO GET THERE

Traveling from Durban, south on the N2, take the Park Rynie/Umzinto (R612) off ramp,turn left towards the sea. At the robot turn rght on Old South Coast road, travel for +-2km Rocky Bay resort will be on your left hand side. The trail starts at the main gate of the resort.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

All year round.

 

Virginia Farm MTB Trails

CLOSEST TOWN >Eston

TRAIL DESTINATION >Beaumont Eston Conservancy

DISTANCE > 2 - 28km

GRADING > Easy to Extreme

Virginia

OVERVIEW

Get yourself to this mountain biking paradise, situated near the town of Eston and a mere hour’s drive from Durban. A selection of superb trails through varying terrain awaits, with enough options to suit everyone from rank beginners to serious racing snakes. Along the way, you will be treated to stunning views as you crank within a pristine environment, brimming with unique fauna and flora. Virginia Farm prides itself as an excellent venue for endurance training. 

On your bike

The 65km of farm roads and tracks includes 8km of purpose-built single-track of exceptional flow and quality, all within a magnificent setting here in the Midlands. The trails are fast and flowing, but you can certainly expect a few technical sections along the way. Variations in surface and terrain will keep you going, but in general you can expect it to be a smooth ride and imminently suited to the middle of the road rider.

There are a range of route options to choose from, with more than enough short cuts and escape options to suit your level of fitness. All you need do is saddle up and navigate your way through and around the timber plantations, sugar cane fields, grasslands, indigenous bush, high sandstone cliffs, deep valleys, streams and dams.

The total Virginia Trail network is made up of an East, West and a North Loop, which may all be combined into a number of different route options. Choose between anything from a rookie crank of 8km to a testing 62km humdinger, and then take the kiddies onto the easy 2.5km Pink Route. For an intro to Virginia, start off on the Eastern Loop, followed by North and finally West for a 40km circuit. Up the ante to 62km by adding the Orange Route once you reach the trailhead.

The 28kmNorth Loopwill take you to the Gods Window viewpoint over the Gwahumbe River valley as well as ‘Strelizia Plunge’, a single-track descent blasting through indigenous bush, with tight corners, drops, rocky sections and a bridge or two. The ‘Arum Rush Trail’ is on the Orange section of the North loop, while the 12km East Loop offers aflat and fast crank.

Virginia Trails is made up of an East, West and a North Loop that can all be combined into at least 9 different loops.

 

40km - Go East Loop (Green) then North loop (Green) and then do the West Loop (Green)

62km - Do the 40km as above and then do the Orange route from the trailhead

28km - Go North Loop (Green) includes Gods Window and Strelizia Plunge Trails

23km - Go North Loop (Orange) includes Arum Rush Trail

12km - Go East Loop (Green) nice and fast!

8km - Go west Loop (Green) great vistas along edge of cliffs

"Easy Eight" - Red Route  This is a new route.  No single track, no stiff hills

2.5km - Go Pink Route ideal for kids and a warm up

2km - Go Blue Route ideal for kids and a warm up

View East Loop 13 km and profile. Click here...

View West Loop 7 km and profile. Click here...

View North Loop 26 km and profile. Click here...

Off the bike

Enjoy earthy country living; there are birding, hiking, fishing and horse riding to keep you busy when not riding your bike.

CONTACT:

Route Information: Pete Stainbank

Telephone: +27 (0)83 781 1042   

Website: www.virginiafarm.co.za

GPS: 29° 59.642’ South / 30° 36.261’East 

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy, moderate, difficult to extreme

DURATION:

30 minutes to 8 hours

CONFIGURATION :

A network of loops from 2km to 28km

START POINT:

Virginia Homestead

TERRAIN: Farm trails, flowing, undulating single-track

CELL RECEPTION:

Intermittent

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Entry fee payable. Booking is essential This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FACILITIES:

Ablutions/ hot showers/ bike wash/ Chill Area/braai facilities/small coffee shop/self-catering accommodation

VirginiaTrails_Map

HOW TO GET THERE

From DURBAN : 65 mins Drive Go along the N3 and take the Camperdown Fly off. Go left at the bridge and follow that road until you get to a T-junction. Go left towards Eston and Umbumbulu.

At the Caltex Service Station keep straight on the R603 and go a further+- 15km.
The single lane goes into a double lane as you go up a hill, you pass the Telkom and MTN tower on top of the hill.

Go down the hill around two sharp bends and turn right onto a tar road called EZIMWINI.

From PMB : 50 mins drive
Take the R603, Umlaas Rd, Umbumbulu Fly off, off the Freeway Head straight towards Eston and Umbumbulu.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

Year round warm climate

 

Clearwater Trails

CLOSEST TOWN > Port Edward

TRAIL DESTINATION > Clearwater Cabins and Trails

DISTANCE > 4.7 to 16km

GRADING > Easy to Difficult

clearwater

OVERVIEW

Clearwater Trails boasts a marvellous mix of terrain and scenic views along four custom-built and well-marked MTB trails. Jan ‘The Man’ Abbott went all out when he designed the routes, making sure there would be something to suit all levels and types of mountain bikers.

On your bike

Although you will be riding on single-track and jeep tracks for 90% of the time, an occasional stretch of tarmac is now and then used to link sections of the ride. All trail options traverse the  calypso coastline of the balmy Indian Ocean, crisscrossing stands of shady coffee trees within the Beaver Creek Coffee Estate.

An exhilarating mix of hand-made single-track, jeep track and gravel road constitute a fast and riveting ride. Choose between routes along moderate gradients or attempt a few of the more serious downhill sections if, of course, you’re prepared to take on the burn as you climb back up out of the valley!

The classic view of the Umtamvuna estuary meets your eyes before you carry on to “Spook House Downhill” for a white-knuckle ride. Hit the awesome “Red Desert” for some technical fun and fly onto some wicked single-track through rolling grassland above the D595 with its magnificent views of the river gorge and waterfalls in the nearby Umtamvuna Nature Reserve.

Berms, switchbacks, natural ramps, bridges and water crossings all add to the adventure and will test your balance and agility to the max. Conquer “Coffee-Bean Uphill” before ending off your day with a stunning cuppa Joe at the beanery en route to Clearwater Cabins.

Here goes with more of a breakdown of the individual trails:

Green Route (4.7km):This easy circuit on farm roads and single-track is ideal for family outings and sprint rides. From the cabins, head from the gate to Mtamvuna Gorge Viewing Deck. Follow the white poles with black arrows and luminous paint to stay on route.

Blue Route (11km):This is an easy to moderate circular option along a mix of gravel roads, single-track and dual-track. This trail follows the ridge line with only a few gradual hills, but is more technical than the Green Route.

Black route (16km):This tough circuit whips you round on mostly single-track, with the odd bit of tar and gravel road. Ride with care.

Red Route (6.3km):This is very technical, so only attempt it with both a proper skill set as well as the right bike. There is a short 2km Red Route option as well.

Off the bike

Other activities at Clearwater include hiking, walking, birding and bass fishing. Tree identification walks with renowned botanist, Tony Abbott, and guided farm tours can be arranged. Fifteen minutes away, guests can enjoy the casino, restaurants, cinema and live entertainment of the Old Pont Resort and the Wild Coast Sun.

Take a lighthouse tour or a deep sea charter. There’s deep sea and estuary fishing, golfing, bowls, tennis and squash at the local Port Edward Country Club, arts and crafts, farm stalls, and the beach of course.

Stop at Beaver Creek Estate for a grand coffee experience. Anything goes, from great cappuccinos at the Estate Cafe to purchasing a selection of 66 fine roasts and blends. The 30-minute Coffee Tour allows ou to walk around the plantation with a knowleegeable guide.

CONTACT:

Route information: Natalie Abbott, Clearwater Trails and Cabins

Telephone: +27 83 549 6710

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.clearwatertrails.co.za

GPS: 31°04’45.4” South / 30°10’07.0” East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Easy to Difficult

DURATION:

Various options from 30min - 4Hrs.

CONFIGURATION :

Circular plus out-and-back from 4.7-16km

START POINT:

Clearwater Cabins and Trails office

TERRAIN:

Farm road, single-track, dirt road, gravel and tar

MAP:

Available from Clearwater Cabins and Trails

CELL RECEPTION:

There is cell phone reception so carry your cell phones for contact.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Day visitors welcome. A trail fee is payable.

FACILITIES:

Ablutions. Self-catering, rustic, timber chalets. Camping. Braais, Trampoline, Kiosk

BEWARE OF:

'No helmet, no ride’ rule applies here. Secure parking within the Clearwater Trails Office/Accommodation premises, which is fenced off. Go out in pairs or groups for the longer rides. The shorter rides are relatively safe. Staff check the routes regularly for any problems.

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Travel 5km inland from the Port edward traffic lights (R61) on the Izingoloweni Road. Turn left here onto a gravel road (D595) signposted to Clearwater Trails and Taverna. Another 2km will get you to the end, where you turn right at the sign.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

All year round.

 

Giba Gorge MTBike Park

CLOSEST TOWN > Pinetown / Durban

TRAIL DESTINATION > Giba Gorge MTBike Park

DISTANCE > Various

 

GRADING >  Intermediate to extreme

giba_img

OVERVIEW

The trail Centre lies at the end of 4km of good quality gravel road and is accessed through the Check-in desk where an indemnity form must be signed.

On your bike

A range of beautifully manicured trails traverse the 250ha Bike Park, set within a valley blessed with a distinctive, powdery red soil. There are four trail options to choose from: a 10.2km Orange Route, a 5.2km Green Route, a 6.7km Blue Route and finally the 1.2km Giba Downhill.

The 7km-odd Blue Route is the most radical option, running right up against the N3 freeway at its westernmost point. From here, it dips down dangerously to pass through a blue gum plantation. The Mainline has super-smooth flowing lines, tight berms and wooden bridges, while the Free Ride section will undoubtedly improve your riding skills and focus. Being hand-made, the trails allow some tight cornering and all protruding rocks and tree stumps are clearly marked with white paint. 

Off the bike

Giba is also open to hikers, birders and backpackers, with plans to open a B&B high up on the hill. There is a conference centre, showers, a bike wash (R10 per bike), a coffee bar, an indigenous plant nursery and a dedicated bike repair workshop, all within a 150 square metre area. The Check-in area offers optional energy drinks for anyone with a sieve for a brain.

CONTACT:

Route Information:

Jethro Nyandeni 079 4514898  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Cell: 083 307-9046

Telephone: 031 769 1527 / 031 769 1419

Visit: www.gibagorge.co.za

GPS: 29°49′37.83″ South /  30°46′ 52.25″ East

 

FAST FACTS

GRADING:

Intermediate to extreme

DURATION:

Varies depending on route chosen

CONFIGURATION :

4 circular loops from the Main Office

START POINT:

Giba Gorge MTB Park

TERRAIN:

Man-made trails

MAP:

Availible at Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park

CELL RECEPTION:

Yes

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

Annual membership or day passes available

FACILITIES:

Conference centre, showers, bike wash, coffee bar, indigenous plant nursery, dedicated bike repair workshop.

BEWARE OF:

Tree roots and some kicker jumps!

HOW TO GET THERE
Travelling on the N3 north towards Pietermaritzbur

Take the Stockville Rd offramp (before the Mariannhill Toll Plaza)

Keep making a right turn till you double-back under the freeway.

Take the next right towards Stockville Quarry (dirt road).

Follow the dirt road for approx 3 kms past Zorg's Spot.

Just before the quarry (weighbridge office), make a short left turn.

Turn right towards the big thatched building.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

All year round

 

Get the books

Our books are available at Exclusive Books, Loot, Map Studio and probably other leading book stores.

Buy us a beer

PLEASE NOTE: This site is a flippen labour of love, brought to you for nada. Niks. Free of Charge. If you'd like to contribute some Bucks, please do - bank details below, but I'm not holding my breath wink

ABSA Cheque Account
Name: T. J. Marais
Branch Number: 312109
Account Number: 011 3130 0014
Any donation over R300 will receive a free copy of MTB TOP TRAILS 2 or MORE MTB TRAILS; just remember to send me Proof of Payment and a Delivery address!